Slap a Tauntaun and call the Tatooine sand farmers, this is probably the biggest, most controversial news of the week (and will probably stay that way unless some other company does something really stupid or really big.) Anyway, Electronic Arts, two time winner of the Worst Company in America Award, has picked up both exclusive development and publishing licenses for Star Wars games.
The news comes in hard and fast today, as Disney Interactive has confirmed that they have struck a deal with one of the largest video game software publishers on the planet, with John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive, commenting on the news, saying...
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” ... “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”
This news also comes hot on the heels of EA's recent announcement that they are also expanding The Sims franchise with a brand new game in the long running series.
In some ways, this whole affair shouldn't be too surprising given that EA was the last company to develop, publish and distribute a Star Wars game independent of LucasArts, with Star Wars: The Old Republic, also known to the 4Chan community as The Tortanic.
Frank Gibeau, EA's labels president, had some positive words to share about the license acquistion, noting...
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
At least, for gamers, the good news is that Visceral Games and DICE will be working with the license, which automatically means that their games will be running on the latest version of DICE's proprietary Frostbite 3 Engine. That means that DICE's Star Wars game could look just like this, or maybe even better.
Additional details about the expenses for the Star Wars license were not disclosed, however, during the acquisition of the Star Wars license for The Old Republic, Activision Blizzard's head honcho Bobby Kotick mentioned that the price to acquire the Star Wars license wasn't worth it.
So far, the gaming community's general reaction to the news has been...